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75 Lakh Plus Cases Disposed Off By Lok Adalats

Alternate Dispute Resolution

What is Lok Adalat?

  • Lok Adalat is an alternative dispute resolution system outside of the courts, that is quick and free of lawyers and court fees.
  • Lok Adalats have a statutory place in the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Its awards have the force of law.
  • Lok Adalats aim for amicable settlement or compromise of a dispute, and can pass awards regarding the same.
  • The functioning, organisation, jurisdiction, powers, and responsibilities of Lok Adalats are prescribed under the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987.
  • All Lok Adalats function under the aegis of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).


  • National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) is a statutory body constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
  • NALSA was established as a nationwide uniform network for providing free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society.
  • NALSA is headed by its executive chairman, the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court.
    • Chief justice of India is a Patron-in-Chief of the NALSA.
  • National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) along with other Legal Services Institutions (SALSA, DLSA, TLSA etc) conducts Lok Adalats for speedy justice.


  • Lok Adalats aim to fulfill the promise given by the preamble of the Indian Constitution of securing Justice (PES) to of every citizen of India.
  • It also satisfies Article 39A of the Constitution which states that state shall provide for free legal aid to the deprived and weaker sections of society and to promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity.
  • NALSA has powers to constitute Permanent Lok Adalats also..!!

What is Lok Adalat?

  • Who are the judges?
    • Every Lok Adalat organized for an area shall consist of such number of serving or retired judicial officers and other persons of the area as may be specified by the organizing agency.
    • Generally, it consists of a chairman, two members, and one social worker. The chairman would be sitting or retired judicial officer. Two members from legal background.
  • What cases are handled?
    • Lok Adalat shall have jurisdiction to determine and to arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties to a dispute in respect of:
      • Any case pending before any court
        • (Both Parties agree to settle the dispute in the Lok Adalat)
      • Any matter not brought before such a court (pre-litigation disputes)
        • (Any one party brings the issue before Lok Adalat)
      • Examples: Matrimonial disputes, family disputes, bank recovery cases etc which are Compoundable.
      • Note: Matters that are non compoundable fall outside the purview of Lok adalats.
  • Powers of Lok Adalat
    • Lok Adalat shall have the same powers as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure (1908).
    • An award of a Lok Adalat is deemed to be a decree of a Civil Court.
    • Lok Adalat can also specify its own procedure for the determination of any dispute coming before it.
    • Every award made by a Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties to the dispute.
    • No appeal shall lie to any court against the award of the Lok Adalat.

Lok Adalat

  • Speed
  • Economy
  • No appeal

The News

  • Recently, third national lok Adalat of 2022 was held in all states & UTs (Barring Delhi – Due to independence day preparation) on August 13.
  • According to NALSA, more then 74 lakh cases were disposed off. Of more than 74 lakh disposed cases, 45 lakh disputes were pending ones and another 58.33 lakh were in pre-litigation stages.
  • The total value of the settlement amount is approximately ₹ 5,039 crore.

The Big Question

  • Are Lok Adalats a panacea to all the judicial problems?

The Issues

  • Have Lok Adalats performed efficiently in last 35 years?
  • Do they empower the poor or coerce them to accept compromises?
  • Do they trade justice off for high settlement numbers and speed?
  • Have they created a dual justice system – One for poor, one for rich?

The Current Backlog



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